One Violent Year
By Ralph Brandon
Publisher: Fabian Books
At the opening of One Violent Year, the narrator Steve tells that he is impotent. According to him, his condition was brought on as a direct result of orally servicing a woman for an eleven-year stretch.
Unfortunately for Steve, that was all he was allowed to do to her. You see, Mary Ellen was a genteel southern belle and he was poor white trash. She considered him a dear friend as long as he knew his place, which happened to be on his knees making slurping noises.
Other youth of his era were able to placate their sexual frustration with the strategic use of National Geographic and some axle grease from the tool shed. Not Steve. He spent his time with his face between the legs of a young lady who sips mint juleps and says “Fiddle-dee-dee” while climaxing. Eventually, his thwarted member threw in the towel.
However, his erectile dysfunction proved not to be a lifetime affliction. It is now four years after Mary Ellen’s untimely death and Steve is ready to get his groove back. While working with a crew painting Bobbi’s road house, he sees Phyllis, the corpulent owner’s hot youngest sister. A long-dormant part of him springs to life.
When it rains, it pours. Before Steve has a chance to get his mitts on Phyllis, middle (in both age and chunk-factor) sister Jeanne makes a play for him. Their brief encounter in the parking lot does not go well. She grabs his head and attempts to shove his face deep in the heart of Dixie. This brings up a lot of painful memories for Steve and he refuses, so she expresses her insistence by putting out her cigarette on the side of his neck. He responds by punching her hard in the stomach and the date’s over.
The debacle with Jeanne proves but a minor detour as his romance with Phyllis gets into full swing. Failure to perform becomes a thing of the past as he plow her furrow with both skill and stamina. It seems as if nothing will get in the way of their living happily after.
The couple runs low on money while vacationing, so Phyllis earns some cash by administering beatings to an older gentleman who is into that sort of thing. Steve is not pleased, admonishes her about the slippery slope of perversion, but is willing to accept her story that she derived no pleasure from her sadistic act.
Convincing himself that her transgression was solely due to financial need, he decides that getting rich in the corn-whiskey business will solve everything. The Chavis clan dominate the local market but their stuff is both vile and overpriced. Better add cheaper hooch could be obtained from Doc Hart, a kindly old physician who has amassed a small fortune both by selling moonshine and then performing abortions on women too drunk to worry about birth control. Steve also falls for the good doctor’s daughter Alice, whose dominant and sadistic streak appeals to a side of him he’d rather not think about.
He figures he can get rich distributing the shine locally. This of course ires the Chavises, who stage an ambush to get even. With them is Jeanne, who has her own score to settle.
When Jeanne was a girl, she and Phyllis used to play with Lonnie, the son of a black laborer working on their father’s tobacco farm. Actually, Phyllis played and Jeanne tortured, subjecting the kid to beatings and electric shock, and demanding oral sex. Lonnie put up with it for a couple of reasons. First, there wasn’t much he could do about it. In the pre-civil rights south, African Americans had little recourse against the whims of crazy white people. He also enjoyed the abuse, up to a point. But after Jeanne mutilated his genitals to keep him from fooling around with anyone else, Lonnie had had enough and fled.
He found sanctuary with Doc Hart. Alice assumed the Jeanne role, albeit with less depravity. Her racism kept actual intercourse with Lonnie out of the question, leaving her virginity intact until the advent of Steve and his Caucasian pecker.
Alice’s newfound love life was short lived however as Jeanne got even for the stealing away of her beloved Lonnie. After Steve was shot and beaten unconscious, Alice was brutally raped by three of the Chavis boys while Jeanne cut her face off with the same knife she’d used on Lonnie’s naughty bits.
Revenge begets revenge. After Doc Hart puts his daughter out of her misery with a shotgun and tends to Steve’s wounds, it’s payback time. Steve dispatches the three rapists and leaves Jeanne for the doctor’s amusement. She dies after three days of slow torture (the first of which consisting entirely of “dentistry”).
Steve is now a broken and shamed man who creates his own private hell by becoming fat Bobbi’s love slave. One night, he is being forced to watch her and Phyllis abuse a couple of homeless guys. This proves too much for him to bear.
Reaching deep to find his inner real man, he smacks Phyllis unconscious, abducts her, and proposes marriage where refusal means death. She accepts and through will power and denial, the two begin a new life as a normal loving couple.
This is the Ralph Brandon book I’ve reviewed, the other being Asylum – or Hell? In both novels, justice prevails when dominant women are brought to heel with man’s brute force. Love him or hate him, the author had issues. That what makes him so much fun to read. When I’m scanning the dusty shelves of Kay Books, you better believe I’ll keep an eye peeled for the name Ralph Brandon.